Metcalf Archaeological Consultants — Employee owned and now debt free

Sally and Mike Metcalf, left and center, accept a ceremonian oversized check from Anne McKibbin marking the final payment in an employee buy-out of Metcalf Archaeological Consultants Inc. The employees began the purchase process back in 2002 and this week's payment marked their 'mortgage burning' moment.
Pam Boyd/ |

Metcalf Archaeological Consultants Inc. has been in business in Eagle since the 1970s and as of this week, the company’s employees own the enterprise, free and clear.

Mike and Sally Metcalf, the original company owners, have sold the business to the employees, via an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. This process started in 2002 when the ESOP bought 49 percent of the company, hit its second stage in 2007 when the ESOP bought the remaining 51 percent, and wrapped up just a few weeks ago when the ESOP made its last payment on the loan to acquire that remaining 51 percent.

“We’ve been 100 percent employee-owned since 2007, but we are now 100 percent employee-owned and debt free — kind of like the moment you make the last payment on your house and can burn your mortgage,” said Anne McKibbin, who together with Pat O’Brien serves as a trustee for the ESOP in addition to being one of the company’s employee-owners.

With the final payment imminent, Mike Metcalf recently resigned as president of Metcalf Archeological Service. He is continuing to serve as chairman of the company’s board of directors. “Other that than, I am just an employee,” he said. “And a part-time one at that,” added Sally Metcalf.

Nathan Boyless, who works at the company’s Golden office, has been named company president. He has served as vice president for several years.

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Mike Metcalf noted that back in 2002, he and Sally considered proposals from other larger firms offering to purchase the company.

“We wanted to see the company continue and take care of the long-term employees who worked for the company,” he said. “The employee purchase option was lower risk for the employees and it didn’t mean high risks for us. It takes a special set of circumstances for a deal like this to work.”

McKibbin said for the company’s long-time employees, the purchase presented a great opportunity to invest in the company where they work.

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